Buy a house with a payment you will be comfortable paying on. Also, remember that you will get interest and tax deductions which will lower your overall income taxes. People often are approved for a lot higher than they comfortably can afford. I've seen people get approved as high as 65% dti (debt to income), if they have good credit. I'd try to stick around 40% of your gross income, or 33% of your take home pay. Always remember, houses cost on avg 100-200/mo in repairs. The reason why it's that high on avg: furnaces, AC, roof, windows etc have limited lives. Also, calculate how much your utilites will run, if you can afford to contribute to IRA or 401k or both. If you can do all that and still feel comfortable, buy a house for what you can pay on. If your income goes up in the future you can always buy another house.